WWW Wednesdays: What Am I Reading? (4)

WWW Wednesdays: What Am I Reading? (4)

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme that is hosted by Taking on a World of Words. The “rules” are simple – answer the 3 questions below:


1. What are you currently reading?

I’m reading a non-fiction, Shooting History, by Jon Snow – an autobiographical account of modern history and journalism Snow was involved in. I’ve also been sent another book to read for Rosie’s Book Review Team, Devil In The Countryside, a historical thriller by Cory Barclay. I’m also reading another free book to review – Being Simon Haines, by Tom Vaughan MacAulay.

It’s also exam-season, so as a form of revision, I’m aiming to re-read texts that will be covered in my exams. Here’s how I’ve got on so far:

2. What did you recently finish reading?

I read so much over the Easter break! I read The Seagull, a play by Anton Chekhov, as well some more Stephen King novels of course – The Shining and The Tommyknockers. I also finished the thriller Perfect People by Peter James, as well as The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy. I also received a new book, Commune: Book One, to read and review for Joshua Gayou, a new author.

3. What do you think you’ll read next?

As I really enjoyed Perfect People, I want to explore the works of Peter James, and the thriller genre as whole, further. It would also be nice to read some more classic literature as well.


What are you currently reading?

– Judith

3 Day Quote Challenge [2] Day #3

3 Day Quote Challenge [2] Day #3

Welcome back! This is the final day of my 3 Day Quote Challenge.

You can read my quote choices from Day 1 and Day 2, respectively. All three quotes are from The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis.

Here is my final quote:

‘You would like to know how I behave when I am experiencing pain, not writing books about it… But what is the good of telling you about my feelings? You know them already: they are the same as yours.’ 

Have you ever read something so powerful that it feels like it’s kicked you in the gut? That “wow, this speaks directly to me” reaction? It’s difficult to put into words, but that instinctive, gut, kick in the stomach, “pow” feeling was exactly what I got when I read this passage.

For me, C.S. Lewis was talking directly to me. He emphasises that no matter how different we all think we are, we are all still human, we all still feel emotion – whether it’s pain or joy. No matter how many different stories of people’s lives and suffering we read of, we will always be able to relate in some way. And somehow, that makes the ideas of feeling pain, feeling sadness or just plain scared… a little less scary.

 – Judith

3 Day Quote Challenge [2] Day #2

3 Day Quote Challenge [2] Day #2

Welcome to Day 2 of my 3 Day Quote Challenge! You can read the quote from Day 1 here.

As I said yesterday, I will be picking three quotes from the same book, The Problem of Pain, by C.S. Lewis, reading and reflecting on helpful ways Christian can think about suffering.*

*I’m also really enjoying Be Still My Soul by Nancy Guthrie, a collection of edited sermons and passages to help Christians through suffering.

Without further ado, here is the quote I’ve chosen for today:

‘God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.’

This powerful imagery from C.S. Lewis highlights the comforting and loving omnipresence of God. Lewis stresses how God is not only there for us in times of happiness, but in times of sadness too, which I think is a really encouraging reminder.

Thank you for reading the second post in this little series. Tomorrow I’ll post the last of my three quotes. If you have any thoughts, questions or responses, please leave them in the comments below. Thanks!

– Judith

3 Day Quote Challenge [2] Day #1

3 Day Quote Challenge [2] Day #1

This is Day 1 of the return of the 3 Day Quote Challenge!

As November draws to a close, I thought this would be a nice, easy little series of blog posts to do before the hectic countdown to Christmas begins.

The last time I did this challenge, I picked three quotes from three different books. This time however, I’ve picked three quotes from the same book because this allows me to digest and reflect on what I’m currently reading, and it’s a particularly quotable book anyway.

I’ve chosen C.S. Lewis’ The Problem of Pain because as Christian who’s gone through some hard times lately, I really wanted to read a Christian’s perspective on suffering*, and I’ve never read any C.S. Lewis’ works, other than The Chronicles of Narnia.

*I’m also really enjoying Be Still My Soul by Nancy Guthrie, a collection of edited sermons and passages to help Christians through suffering.

I thought I’d share these quotes with you whether you’re religious or not, simply because I don’t feel like I talk very much about my faith very much, and I never want to feel like I’m in a situation where I’m not “allowed” to mention it – it’s my blog, after all!

Here is my first quote:

‘Whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we want’

This is a simple, yet important reminder, that God is not just a “Spiritual Santa Clause” for Christians. We can’t expect to have everything that we want in life because not all of those things will be good for us in the long run, even if at the time we think they’ll be beneficial.

I hope you enjoyed this little post, and come back to read Day 2 and Day 3 of my 3 Day Quote Challenge. If you have any thoughts, questions or responses, please leave them in the comments below. Thanks!

– Judith

[BONUS] Read and Review: LUCKY by RUTVI PARIKH #BookReview #Children’sAdventure

[BONUS] Read and Review: LUCKY by RUTVI PARIKH #BookReview #Children’sAdventure

Image via www.freeimages.com

  • Title: Lucky
  • Published: 2016
  • Author: Rutvi Parikh

Lucky is a children’s fantasy adventure story, in which we meet Brooke, Adam, Rosilia, Heather, and Samuel. All these children are lacking in some way, and so embark on a journey, with the help of some magical creatures, to find what they’re all looking for.

Before I begin sharing my opinions, I’d like to share the fact that Rutvi is an 11-year-old sixth grader, and this is their first ever book. I find this so impressive – when I was 11, I loved drafting stories but due to the lack of technology, publication was never an option at all. So Rutvi, well done for writing your first story at such a young age!

What I liked about Lucky was the switches in narrative, so you could see every character’s thoughts, feelings, and learn more about their backstory. The chapters were quite short, which I think helped to create a “snapshot” of each character, rather than an overly detailed chapters.

Lucky also has a moral message at the end, which I thought was clever, and it reminded me of The Fountain of Fair Fortune story, in The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a “spin-off” fiction from J.K. Rowling after its mention in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows.

However, I do have some constructive criticism. Some of the narrative switched between tenses accidentally – it can be easy to mix up ‘am’ with ‘was’ and so on, I did this as a child too – which disrupted the flow of the story a little. Also, some of the dialogue was written “LIKE THIS?!???????????”, which I thought was unnecessary.

I’ll also share this tip I picked up from Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, you don’t need to use lots of alternative adverbs to describe someone’s speech. He/She said always works the best, and you don’t need to feel guilty about using it often.

As an adult, children’s fantasy stories aren’t really my thing anymore (although obviously making an exception for Harry Potter), but I am convinced that 11-year-old me would have loved Lucky.

It was generally well-written and easy to read, and if you have children that enjoy fantasy and adventure, I strongly encouraged you to show it to them!

Lucky is available to buy as an e-book or paperback from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.

***

Thank you for reading! This is another bonus ReadandReview post.

I want to reiterate again how impressed I am that an 11-year-old can now release their story on a platform for millions of people to access.  Thanks to Rutvi, who approached me on WordPress and asked me to read their story.

If you enjoyed this review, please give it a ‘like’ or leave a lovely comment down below. Happy reading!

– Judith

[BONUS] Read and Review: THE BOOZE STOLE MY SON (DON’T LET IT STEAL YOURS) by AUI V @writingandlife #BookReview #NonFiction

[BONUS] Read and Review: THE BOOZE STOLE MY SON (DON’T LET IT STEAL YOURS) by AUI V @writingandlife #BookReview #NonFiction
  • Title: The Booze Stole My Son (Don’t Let It Steal Yours)
  • Published: 2016
  • Author: Aui V

The Booze Stole My Son is a non-fiction, autobiographical account of a mother’s grief at the loss of her son, JC, who died after a drunk-driving incident.

I found Aui’s story incredibly powerful and you could really feel the emotion in her writing. This was not an easy book to read, which is to be expected, given the topic.

The style of writing switches between extracts from a personal diary, and formally written pieces to inform the reader of Aui’s experiences and religious beliefs, as well as some well-grounded scientific research into alcoholism.

Aui is certainly an accurate narrator; she is a qualified nurse, and has seen the destructive impact of alcoholism on other family members and friends.

Yet because of the switches in narrative styles, the book felt a little unstructured at times. However, this did not detract from the message of this book; I think what is more important is the fact that Aui was able to write The Booze Stole My Son as a coping mechanism, to help her come to terms with such a devastating loss.

She was determined to finish her book and bravely speak of her experiences, to reach out, educate and support other people who may be going through similar circumstances.

Although a relatively short read, The Booze Stole My Son is an inspiring and eye-opening tale, and I certainly learnt a lot reading it.

***

This is another bonus ReadandReview post. Many thanks to Aui for reaching out to me via WordPress, and asking me to read her story.  You can find Aui’s website at writingandalcohol.wordpress.com

The Booze Stole My Son (Don’t Let It Steal Yours) is available to read for free on Wattpad.

If you enjoyed this review, please give it a ‘like’ or leave a lovely comment down below. Alternatively, feel free to share any thoughts and experiences you may have had with similar circumstances.

– Judith

 

Learn to Love Challenge Day #2

Learn to Love Challenge Day #2

Welcome to Day #2 of my Learn to Love Challenge! If you’re new, you can find out exactly what I’m doing by reading my Tags & Challenges page. Let’s crack on!

Today I have chosen to Learn to Love … non-fiction!


Part 1:

1. Have you ever read texts from this genre before?

I have read non-fiction books in the past, but mainly to assist my studies, such as books written by historians or language experts. I have also read The Bible.

2. Why have you stayed away from this genre?

Excluding The Bible, I haven’t read non-fiction for my own enjoyment, it has been to glean information and develop my own academic ability. I’ve found this dull and boring, and I prefer to read novels that will entertain me!

3. Why have you chosen this particular text?

I have chosen Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig, because I featured it on a Book Haul and I had to get round to reading it as some point.


Part 2:

1. What did you like?

The structure was a bit odd, but easy to read. We jumped from first-person narrative detailing aspects of Haig’s life and his own experiences with anxiety and depression, lists and statistics about mental health and other opinions he had. It was as if he was telling us his personal story, and then he was pressing pause to explain more about these feelings, or give advice to those who might be going through the same thing.

2. What did you dislike?

I can’t think of anything that I didn’t like about this book! It was incredibly eye-opening, helpful. Information and opinions were presented in easy, clear ways for you to understand.


Part 3:

1.  After reading the text, would you say that you enjoy this genre?

I certainly found this type of non-fiction enjoyable to read, because it didn’t take very long (like history books do!) and there wasn’t any difficult jargon for me to get my head around.

2. Have any of your preconceptions changed?

I thought I wouldn’t be able to relate to someone else’s experiences (I’m not a fan of autobiographies) and I thought there would be difficult terms I might not understand. However, I was surprised by how much I understood and could relate to Haig’s experiences, even though there are clear differences between our lives.

I strongly recommend this book for anyone who has struggled or is struggling with mental issues or knows somebody that does, or if you’re just interested, or if you feel compelled to hear Haig’s story. Anyone can read this book and I advise that you do.

3. Would you read more texts in this genre?

I would class this as a self-help book, and I wouldn’t mind reading more of these in the future.

For help with mental health issues, you can go to:


I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Please give it a like or click ‘Follow’ – it means a lot!

Have you read Reasons to Stay Alive? What did you think? Have you read any other books that were similar?

Let me know!

– Judith